On the back of a strong performance in the commodities markets, Central Asia’s largest economy and oil producer, Kazakhstan, saw Gross Domestic Product (GDP) increase by 7.1% in the 1st half of 2011 compared to GDP growth in 2009 of just 1.2%. Major contributors in 2011 were trade (up 14.3%), transportation (6.5%) and industry (5.8%).
Economic output grew by 7.3% in 2010 and the economy was worth approximately $US150 billion with capital investment reaching nearly $US13 billion in the 1st half of 2011.
Kazakhstan ranks 2nd amongst the former Soviet states in attracting investment, behind only Russia and on a per capita basis investment in Russia and Kazakhstan are in fact on similar levels.
At the recent Kaz-Energy Eurasian Forum held in Astana in early October 2011, Kazakhstan’s Prime Minister Karim Massimov said:
“We are committed to improving the business environment so that the energy industry can continue to innovate and take risks and in the process create shared value and success.”
“The government needs to keep its investment climate as friendly as possible in order to secure foreign operators’ cooperation and a share in their technological work, optimising production whilst protecting Kazakhstan’s ecosystems.”
Also covered at the conference were the latest projections for growth in Kazakhstan’s oil output with forecasted growth in oil production moving from 80.4million tons in 2011 to 132.1million tons in 2020. (NB: 1 ton of oil is equivalent to ~7 barrels)